Friday 31 October 2014

Grassroots club of the week: Drogheda & District AC

Drogheda & District AC boasts 400 members and is set for further expansion over the summer

Frank Greally

Published 13/05/2014 | 02:30

The proud members of the 400 member Drogheda and District Athletics Club. Photo: Paul Reilly

Drogheda & District Athletic Club has a membership of close to 400 and with the summer months ahead the club membership looks set for further expansion.

This year the club celebrates its 15th anniversary and members have good reason to celebrate what has been a real success story of club development.

This is a progressive club with a dedicated steering committee and knowledgeable and committed coaches.

Recently the club jointly hosted the hugely successful Boyne 10K; an annual road classic that this year attracted an entry of close to 2,000.

The link-up between Boyne AC and Drogheda & District AC to organise this event demonstrates how two clubs in the same area can work together to achieve a common goal. The annual Boyne 10K, which took place on Sunday, May 4, was sponsored by Coca Cola International Services and the designated charity was the Louth/Meath branch of Down Syndrome Ireland.

The members of Drogheda & District AC are great supporters too of many other running promotions around the country, provided that they have an Athletics Ireland licence. Club members display a great sense of loyalty to the national athletics association to which the club is affiliated.

There is a strong Fit4Life section at the club and an excellent coaching structure that encourages runners to train in groups appropriate to their current state of development. Every six weeks the club organises a one-mile trial which helps determine the training group most suitable for each individual member. If your mile time improves in one six week cycle, you will qualify to move forward to a new group. This formula has proved to be highly successful.

The Athletics Ireland Fit4Life programme has proved a big success in over 100 athletic clubs across the country and Drogheda & District AC have now adopted another AAI programme called Fit4Youth – tailored for the younger generation.

A number of club athletes competed in the World Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Budapest and Mark O'Shea, Niall Donnelly and Robbie and Michael Maher performed well at this prestigious championships which has an entry of close to 3,000 athletes from all over the world.

One of the club's best known runners is Nuala Reilly; without doubt the most prolific Irish female road racer. Another prolific road racer is Gerard Fay.

Last October 63 members of Drogheda & District AC completed the Airtricity Dublin Marathon, the biggest block entry in the Dublin event by an athletic club.

Just last weekend, 12 club members took part in the Prague Marathon and the club's women's team won gold medals in the Leinster Novice Road Championships.

The club's Master athletes also won team medals in the Men's and Women's Over 50 age category at the Woodie's DIY National Road Relays in Raheny.

Gerry O'Connor is Director of Coaching at the club and Liam Reilly is the Elite Coach. Visit: www.droghedaanddistrictac.com for further details on the club.

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